Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

Oversight Systems Focuses on Saving Money and Preventing Fraud

Posted by Robert Kugel on May 31, 2012 11:26:40 AM

I recently spoke with Oversight Systems, an operational intelligence analytics company that uses predictive analytics and optimization to help companies save money, reduce the risk of loss and fraud, and reinforce corporate governance and compliance efforts. Ventana Research views operational intelligence as an emerging technology with the potential for a high return on investment. By continuously monitoring activities in a company’s IT systems, Oversight’s Web-based software continuously, consistently and objectively monitors all business processes to identifies opportunities to save money, cut fraud, minimize risk and provide real-time controls to support governance.

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Topics: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Fraud, Governance, GRC, audit, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Management, Operational Intelligence, Accounting, controls, Oversight Systems

Echopass Demonstrates Value of Contact Center in the Cloud

Posted by Richard Snow on May 31, 2012 11:09:24 AM

Our benchmark research into the contact center in the cloud shows that almost all companies now support multiple communication channels to engage with customers. Most of them also involve multiple business units in handling inbound and outbound interactions. More companies now support at-home agents, and contact centers are becoming more distributed. These scenarios are a good fit for cloud-based systems, and the research finds that the top three ways organizations said they can meet these challenges, and thus improve the way interactions are handled, are to improve training and coaching, adopt applications in the cloud and adopt communications in the cloud. It also shows that organizations have high expectations of cloud-based systems, expecting them to require less capital expenditure, facilitate innovation in interaction handling, lessen demand on in-house resources, including IT and better support home-based agents.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Echopass, Operational Performance, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Information Applications, Workforce Performance, 360-degree view of the Customer, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications

ADP Aims To Dominate Human Capital Management

Posted by Mark Smith on May 27, 2012 10:21:20 AM

Acquisitions and new product releases continue to make the market for human capital management a hotbed of activity, as organizations attempt to fully utilize and increase the value of their workforces as I have outlined in my research agenda. ADP, with more than $10 billion in revenues and more than 570,000 customers, is aiming for the top spot in this market.

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Topics: Mobile, Social Media, HCM, Human Capital Management, Learning, LMS, Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, ADP, Compensation, HR, TCM

What’s the Rush in Adopting IFRS?

Posted by Robert Kugel on May 25, 2012 1:48:20 PM

I have commented before on the movement to adopt International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) by the United States to replace US-GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). Most recently I discussed the drive toharmonize the significant differences between US-GAAP and IFRS on revenue recognition and lease accounting. To those who are interested in but not intimately involved with the subject, I suspect the current situation is a bit confusing, since there are multiple groups involved in the discussions on how best to proceed, each with its own agenda. The full adoption issue remains in flux, but let me weigh in the matter.

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Topics: Reporting, auditing, Consolidation, IFRS, US-GAAP accounting, XBRL, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Financial Performance, Financial Management, financial standards, FPM

Cloudforce UK Shows Salesforce.com at Its Best

Posted by Richard Snow on May 24, 2012 11:13:56 AM

When the Salesforce.com marketing machine rolls into town, you have to sit up and listen, and that’s what 14,000 attendees did at the latest Cloudforce event in London. The company took over a vast portion of the ExCel London Exhibition Centre to accommodate the keynote speech, lots of side events and meeting rooms and an expo floor where attendees could see demonstrations of every product and service, including many from partners showing what they have to offer.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Salesforce.com, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, LiveOps, NewVoicemedia, Operational Performance, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Information Applications, Workforce Performance, 360-degree view of the Customer, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Text Analytics, Vocalcom

Ariba Acquisition Will Bolster SAP’s Growing Cloud Presence

Posted by Robert Kugel on May 24, 2012 10:13:51 AM

SAP is planning to acquire e-commerce company Ariba in a transaction worth about US$4.3 billion expected to close in the third quarter of this year. Ariba provides cloud-based collaborative business commerce through a Web-based trading community that enables companies to find, connect and collaborate with a global network of partners. Its Commerce Cloud is a platform that businesses can use to buy and sell goods. Currently, Ariba counts more than 700,000 companies worldwide attached to this network. The purchase follows SAP's acquisition of cloud-based HR software vendor SuccessFactors for $3.4 billion. In the past SAP had been reluctant to make large acquisitions, but these two large purchases and the naming of Lars Dalgaard, former SuccessFactors CEO, to the SAP executive board indicate the strategic imperative SAP puts on quickly gaining a solid cloud presence. The acquisition also complements its 2011 acquisition of Crossgate, an electronic data interchange (EDI) service provider, which enables companies to exchange documents with customers, suppliers, supply chain partners, financial institutions and government entities, streamlining transactions and cutting administrative costs.

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Topics: SAP, ERP, EDI, end-to-end process, Analytics, Cloud, Uncategorized, CRM, Ariba, integration, merger, SCM

Xactly Helps Sales Go Mobile and Get Smarter with Incent 8

Posted by Mark Smith on May 24, 2012 9:46:15 AM

Businesses aim to make their sales function as productive as possible, but they don’t always support that goal with investment in technology. I recently wrote about sales needing a swift technology kick. Sales application vendor Xactly provides a boot with the release of Xactly Incent 8 and will make parts of the application suite available from the Apple App Store for the iPad in the coming weeks.

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Topics: Mobile, Sales, Sales Operations, Uncategorized, Compensation, CRM, Sales Performance Management, SFA, territory managmeent

Opera Solutions Orchestrates Intelligent Applications using Big Data and Predictive Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on May 23, 2012 11:08:41 AM

Predictive analytics has the potential to help businesses increase the impacts of their actions by creating indicators that represent future outcomes based on existing behavior. This process becomes more complicated when they have to apply predictive analytics to what we call big data environments. As yet only 13 percent of organizations are using predictive analytics according to our business analytics benchmark research, although 37 percent indicated that predictive capabilities are very important to their business analytics efforts. Opera Solutions is one of the larger vendors of dedicated predictive analytics software, having more than 650 employees, more than 200 of them data scientists, who help organizations turn their data into actionable intelligence. There is opportunity for the company, as predictive analytics and visualization of data are two capabilities not available in four out of every five organizations according to our big-data benchmark research. Beyond creating indicators, Opera Solutions’ applications can generate signals that present results not only visually but also in English sentences that integrate the analytics and provide guidance for determining next steps. This sophisticated capability can help improve business processes and refine decision-making and truly interact with the application.

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Topics: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, Opera Solutions, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, Chief Information Officer, Cloud Computing, Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Operational Intelligence

Splunk Provides Intelligence for Customer Analytics

Posted by Richard Snow on May 22, 2012 1:08:30 PM

Recently my colleague Mark Smith wrote about Splunk and its latest technology supporting analytics for IT on machine data and providing operational intelligence. I wasn’t familiar with the company, which has focused on IT users and improving the performance of a company’s networks and IT systems. From a customer management perspective, these are of little interest unless they impact the customer experience; for example, if the website is down or the online banking system is unavailable. But in a follow-up briefing I learned that Splunk is increasingly playing in the business analytics market and has several user cases that relate directly to customers.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Customer Experience Management, Social CRM, Splunk, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Information Applications, Information Management, Workforce Performance, Call Center, Contact Center, CRM

IBM Displays Software for GRC at Vision 2012

Posted by Robert Kugel on May 22, 2012 12:36:10 PM

I recently attended Vision 2012, IBM’s conference for users of its financial governance, risk management and performance optimization software. I reviewed the finance portion of the program in a previous blog. I’ve been commenting on governance, risk and compliance (GRC) for several years, often with the caveat that GRC is a catch-all term invented by industry analysts initially to cover a broad set of individual software applications. Each of these was designed to address specific requirements across a spectrum of users in operations, IT and Finance within a company, often to meet the needs for a specific industry such as financial services or pharmaceuticals. Vision 2012 covered a lot of ground under the GRC heading, confirming the breadth of both this software category and IBM’s offerings in it. I want to focus on two areas: automation of IT governance activities and effective management of GRC-related data.

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Topics: Governance, GRC, Access Controls, identity controls, OpenPages, process controls, Operational Performance, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Financial Performance, IBM, compliance, risk management, controls, IT controls

Genesys Moves into Mobile Self-Service for Customers

Posted by Richard Snow on May 21, 2012 11:29:54 AM

It has been a busy time for Genesys, a company best known for computer/telephony integration (CTI) and routing software for contact centers. In February it split from Alcatel-Lucent and announced that with financial backing from two investment funds it was going forward as a stand-alone company. Over the last few years Genesys has diversified its portfolio to include workforce optimization, agent desktop, intelligent customer front door (ICFD) and analytics. Amid the current economic uncertainties, going it alone might seem risky and lead it to focus on these core products before expanding more. Not so; at its recent customer event, it announced a new product, Genesys Mobile Engagement, that it says “links mobile apps to customer service agents.”

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Topics: Sales Performance, Customer Experience Management, Social CRM, Genesys, Operational Performance, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Information Applications, Workforce Performance, Call Center, Contact Center, CRM

IBM Shows Off Vision for Finance

Posted by Robert Kugel on May 21, 2012 11:00:26 AM

I recently attended Vision 2012, IBM’s conference for users of its financial governance, risk management and performance optimization software. From my perspective, two points are particularly worth noting with respect to the finance portion of the program. First, IBM has assembled a financial performance management suite capable of supporting core finance processes as well as more innovative ones. It continues to build out the scope of this suite’s capabilities to enhance ease of use, deepen the capabilities of existing areas and broaden to coverage to complementary or immediately adjacent software categories such as its pending acquisition of sales performance management vendor Varicent Software (covered by my colleague Mark Smith). More specifically, automating management of the extended financial close – that is, all activities from closing the books through filing financial reports with regulatory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the U.S. or the FSC in the U.K. – is growing increasingly important as regulatory requirements for external financial reporting expand. Companies that have adopted software to manage the extended close are demonstrating the value of using it.

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Topics: Performance Management, close, closing, IFRS, Analytics, IBM, Uncategorized, GAAP

SAP Brings Out New Voice and Strategy for the Cloud at SAPPHIRE

Posted by Mark Smith on May 18, 2012 2:59:01 PM

At this week’s SAPPHIRE NOW (Twitter #SAPPHIRENOW) annual conference, SAP unveiled a refreshed cloud computing strategy and released technology that addresses its new cloud computing business priorities regarding customers, people, money and suppliers. It’s a good time to see what has changed since my analysis at the SAP Analyst Influencer Summit last December.

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Topics: Sales Performance, SAP, Human Capital Management, Mobile Technology, Business Analytics, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, Chief Information Officer, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Management, Information Technology

Informatica 9.5 Supports New Generation of Big Data and Cloud Computing

Posted by Mark Smith on May 18, 2012 1:25:19 PM

Informatica has announced a major release, version 9.5, of its software platform, which will be generally available in June. The company’s data integration technologies will support the new generation of computing that includes big data, cloud computing, mobile and social media. These computing environments, which our firm has defined as key business technology drivers for this decade, have a compelling impact on the data that enterprises create and use. Being smart about integrating and utilizing significant volumes of data is essential; continuously copying and storing duplicate versions of data is not the best path forward.

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Topics: Big Data, Supply Chain Performance, Mobile Technology, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, Chief Information Officer, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Hadoop, Informatica, Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology

NICE Systems Mobile Customer Self-Service Connects to Agents

Posted by Richard Snow on May 18, 2012 11:38:55 AM

Conventional wisdom in the contact center is that self-service options for customers reduce the number of their telephone calls. However, my benchmark research into the use of technology in contact centers throws doubt on this, finding that companies still expect the volume of interactions through all channels, including the phone, to increase. This is further supported by my benchmark research into customer experience management which shows many customers starting out with self-service opt to call the contact center because they cannot resolve their issues. In recognition that for the foreseeable future agent-assisted service is likely to sit alongside self-service,  NICE Systems recently announced Mobile Reach,an application that ties self-service on mobile devices to agent assistance.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Customer Experience Management, NICE Systems, Social CRM, Operational Performance, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Information Applications, Workforce Performance, Call Center, Contact Center, CRM

Market Dynamics Force Change at Transcom

Posted by Richard Snow on May 16, 2012 11:46:17 AM

I have written several times that the market dynamics around customer relationships are changing faster now than at any previous time in my experience. Smartphones and tablets are changing the way consumers communicate, social media has opened up a channel of communications over which companies have little control, and finding new customers has become harder, so companies are placing more emphasis on retaining existing customers and increasing the amount of business they do with each. One option for organizations to address these challenges is to outsource the task to a third party that specializes in these issues.

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Social CRM, Voice of the Customer, Operational Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Transcom

Kronos Supercharges Workforce Analytics with New Technology

Posted by Mark Smith on May 11, 2012 12:22:26 PM

Adoption of workforce analytics is increasing as organizations seek to recruit and retain employees more effectively and ensure that their people deliver the productivity they expect. According to our benchmark research on the topic, 89 percent of organizations want to make it simpler to provide workforce analytics, which is not surprising as our analysis shows that only 12 percent of organizations have reached the highest level of maturity here.

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Topics: MicroStrategy, Human Capital Management, human resources, Kronos, labor, Research, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Mobility, Workforce Performance, HR, HRMS, Talent Management, Workforce Analytics

JDA’s Revenue Recognition Issues Have Lessons for Finance

Posted by Robert Kugel on May 11, 2012 9:58:52 AM

JDA Software is an established vendor of (among other categories) accounting software for the retail sector. So it is a bit ironic that the company is in the process of restating its earnings for 2008 through 2010 because of revenue recognition practices that led it to book some revenue sooner than it should have. The issue centers on certain transactions the company linked to service agreements and license revenue. As well, in 2009 and 2010 some of its license contracts included a clause protecting customers if certain products were discontinued, which can be construed as promising a future deliverable that would have required a delay in recognizing some or all revenue from those license contracts. Also, JDA is re-evaluating vendor-specific objective evidence (VSOE) for its Cloud Services in 2008 through 2010 to determine whether it met the appropriate requirements to recognize revenue at the start of those contracts; otherwise revenue would have to be prorated over the life of the contract. For a public company, any accounting restatement is serious, and JDA’s stock price has declined since the start of the year, but this seems to be due more to a fourth-quarter 2011 revenue shortfall relative to expectations and a downward revision in earnings expectations than to the restatement. The changes it is likely to make are more optics than substance, which accounts for the muted response from the market.

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Topics: Performance Management, end-to-end, IFRS, JDA Software, process, revenue recognition, Business Analytics, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Accounting, GAAP

Sales Organizations Need a Swift Technology Kick

Posted by Mark Smith on May 10, 2012 12:06:52 PM

Our latest benchmark research on sales applications and technology reveals three trends sales organizations see as critical to improving their operations and performance: mobile technology like smartphones and tablets, collaborative capabilities and business analytics applied to sales. At the same time many sales processes are becoming easier to use, including compensation, forecasting and quota and territory management. To take advantage of these advancements sales management has to establish priorities and better understand how they can help maximize the time focused on selling.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Location Intelligence, Workforce Performance

Consolidation Software Is a Key to Faster Closing

Posted by Robert Kugel on May 10, 2012 9:41:05 AM

For at least a couple of decades completing the financial close within five or six business days after the end of the period has been accepted as a best practice. As such, that creates an expectation that finance organizations that take longer should work to reduce their closing intervals. In updating our last benchmark research on the closing process, Ventana Research has found this not to be the case. In fact, the latest research shows that many companies are taking longer to close today than they did five years ago. Whereas nearly half (47%) were able to close their quarter or half-year period within six business days back then, just 38 percent are able to do so now. Similarly, five years ago 70 percent of companies were able to complete their monthly close in six days; today only half can. To be sure, closing quickly still gets lip service: The research confirms that most companies (83%) view closing their books quickly as important or very important. Yet far from demonstrating progress, the results show slow closers are regressing.

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Topics: close, Consolidation, Controller, process management, report, XBRL, Business Analytics, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Management, Accounting, CFO, Data, Document Management, Financial Performance Management

Pentaho Business Analytics Brings Visual Discovery and More Big Data Support

Posted by Mark Smith on May 10, 2012 8:54:52 AM

With the release of Business Analytics version 4.5, Pentaho has expanded its platform and tools to address the needs of business and IT. The product has come a long way since the version 4 release less than a year ago, which broke ground in ease of use and support for big-data sources. Advancing beyond its roots in business intelligence, Pentaho Business Analytics 4.5 addresses data discovery, data integration and data mining and provides visual discovery and analytics that operate against stores of big data.

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Topics: Big Data, Pentaho, Supply Chain Performance, Mobile Technology, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, Chief Information Officer, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Hadoop, Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology

Kapow Software Harvests and Virtualizes Information and Applications for Business

Posted by Mark Smith on May 8, 2012 11:08:53 AM

Making business use of the vast amount of information on the Web and Internet along with a company’s intranet is no easy task. Kapow Software aims to help by providing tools to define and virtualize access to information, integrate it with other information, such as that in databases, and present it in a useful format. The tool can supply access to data from legacy applications such as PeopleSoft and Siebel, newer applications from Oracle and SAP and applications in cloud computing environments, such as Salesforce.com’s. And Kapow Software not only accesses and integrates information from applications but also enriches it.

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Topics: Big Data, Supply Chain Performance, Mobile Technology, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, Chief Information Officer, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Hadoop, Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Kapow

Nomis Global Pricing Forum Highlights Pricing Optimization

Posted by Robert Kugel on May 8, 2012 10:26:27 AM

I recently attended the 2012 Global Pricing Forum hosted by Nomis Solutions, a provider of software and services to banking and finance companies. This annual event brings together thought leaders and practitioners in the area of pricing and revenue optimization (PRO). This technique uses analytics to sift through large data sets to tease out customer behavior characteristics, identify customer segments and quantify their price sensitivities. These complex calculations require software designed for the purpose, but most in the financial services industry rely on older methods that produce less-than-optimal results. Analytics can help organizations more carefully manage the process of defining offers to customers (especially the levels of discretion offered to account managers and sales people) and the terms and conditions.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, credit, financial analytics, Nomis Solutions, pricing and revenue optimization, PRO, yield management, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Financial Performance, pricing, banking, financial services

Make It Simple for Customers To Engage with You

Posted by Richard Snow on May 8, 2012 10:01:01 AM

A recent research project involving 7,000 consumers carried out by the Harvard Business Review concluded that to retain customers and get them to buy more products, organizations must make it simple for people to engage with them, provide information they trust and allow them to weigh their options before they buy. The research found that consumers are bombarded with information and choices, and as a result they tend to go down the easiest route, which often leads them to take a blinkered view: I haven’t got the time and energy to consider options so I’ll take this one.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience Management, Customer Feedback Management, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Workforce Performance, 360-degree view of the Customer, Agent Performance Management, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management

InetSoft Empowers Organizations To Mobilize Business Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on May 7, 2012 11:15:08 AM

Business intelligence software is increasingly mobile, becoming available via smartphones and tablets and now enabling planning and what-if scenarios to determine the impacts of changes that might be made to improve performance. InetSoft, which has been providing business intelligence tools for more than 15 years, has advanced its technologies to address these trends. The company recently announced version 11.2 of InetSoft Style Intelligence, adding many new capabilities. Among them, the software now allows users to modify data within its Viewsheet data worksheet and provides database write-back to support a range of needs. It also lets users export and manipulate data within Microsoft Excel and then import it back into Style Intelligence for further use.

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Topics: Sales Performance, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Business Technology, Chief Information Officer, CIO, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, InetSoft, Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology

Infor’s Local.ly Could Help with Tax Provisioning

Posted by Robert Kugel on May 7, 2012 10:37:42 AM

One of the new products that Infor announced at its recent Inforum user conference (which I covered here) is Local.ly, which is designed to facilitate localization of its applications (that is, adapting them for languages, units of measure, statutory requirements, customary processes and other specific features of the places where they will be used). Local.ly is scheduled to be released in the third quarter of this year. Infor points out that among other tasks the software can be used to facilitate tax provisioning outside a corporation’s home country, thereby reducing the costs associated with determining tax liabilities. I think it also can be useful in calculating income taxes everywhere, especially for larger customers of Infor that have even a moderately complex corporate structure. Here’s how. The entity structure of a company affects its tax management processes. Our benchmark research finds that among companies with 100 or more employees, 43 percent have relatively complicated corporate structures, which is to say they have some combination of many legal entities and complex ownership configuration. This general finding masks a substantial disparity based on size. Relatively few (27%) midsize companies (those with between 100 and 999 employees) have complex corporate structures, large companies (those with between 1,000 and 9,999 employees) are split between simple and complex structures (56% and 44%, respectively), and almost all very large corporations (those with 10,000 or more employees; 88%) are overwhelmingly complex in their structure.

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Topics: ERP, Local.ly, localization, Tax, Analytics, Business Analytics, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Infor, spreadsheet

Interactive Intelligence Offers Customers Mobile Self-Service

Posted by Richard Snow on May 7, 2012 10:09:56 AM

Interactive Intelligence announced Interaction Mobilizer, the latest application in its growing portfolio of products. As I recently wrote, Interactive Intelligence has come a long way since it launched its first software-based PBX in 1994. It was a pioneer in offering contact center applications in the cloud, which now include communications in the cloud and products for workforce optimization. The latest announcement follows similar ones from other vendors also announcing applications to support mobile self-service. Each of those products supports slightly different sets of capabilities, but all of them follow the trend to provide organizations with another channel through which customers can interact with them, and support customers who want self-service capabilities from their smartphones or tablets.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Customer Feedback Management, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Operational Performance, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Information Applications, Workforce Performance, 360-degree view of the Customer, Agent Performance Management, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Interactive Intelligence, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management

Peoplefluent Advances Social Collaboration and Learning with Socialtext

Posted by Mark Smith on May 4, 2012 12:10:44 PM

This week Peoplefluent announced that it has invested in Socialtext, a company that provides social collaboration software at the enterprise level. With this strategic investment Bedford Funding, the private equity firm that owns Peoplefluent, is the direct beneficiary. Peoplefluent will extend Socialtext into the human capital management market while continuing to let the company meet the broader market interest in its offering. Peoplefluent has moved quickly to make this application and platform available to its customers.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Sustainability, Human Capital Management, human resources, learning management systems, LMS, Peoplefluent, Performance, Recruiting, Research, SocialText, succession, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Mobility, Workforce Performance, Compensation, HR, HRMS, Talent Management, Workforce Analytics

Workday 16 Brings Simplicity and Mobility to Human Capital Management

Posted by Mark Smith on May 4, 2012 10:22:00 AM

Competition in the human capital management market rages on, with application suppliers racing to provide sophisticated applications that operate in the cloud. Cloud computing is a key factor in advancing human capital management, included in our research agenda for this area, along with analytics, collaboration, mobility and social media.

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Topics: Sales Performance, SAP, Social Media, Sustainability, Human Capital Management, human resources, learning management systems, LMS, Performance, Recruiting, Research, succession, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Mobility, Oracle, Workforce Performance, Compensation, HR, HRMS, Talent Management, Workday, Workforce Analytics

NICE Transforms Customer Experience through Mobile and Interaction Intelligence

Posted by Mark Smith on May 4, 2012 9:50:58 AM

I attended NICE Systems’ annual Interactions (Twitter #Interaction2012) conference in Nashville to get the latest from this growing global software business that focuses on customer-centric applications. If you have not heard of NICE you might not be primarily involved in managing and interacting with customers, the area in which NICE has been growing organically and by acquiring technology providers that complement its existing portfolio. As we discussed in recent analyses, and NICE acquired Merced Systems for its sales- and service-centric performance management applications and Fizzback for customer feedback management software. Both have helped it become a more strategically focused software business. NICE Systems targets enterprise contact centers as well as financial risk, compliance and security. NICE makes its applications available not just on-premises but also in software as a service and hosted environments.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Customer Feedback Management, NICE Systems, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, 360-degree view of the Customer, Agent Performance Management, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Interactive Intelligence, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management

Customer Engagement Day Reveals New Issues and Opportunity

Posted by Richard Snow on May 1, 2012 11:15:43 AM

I recently attended the second in the series of customer engagement days organized by the Directors Club (GB & NI). The format of the event was the same as the first day that I wrote about and included three keynote presentations and three roundtable sessions where attendees discussed how organizations should engage with customers. As for the first event I chaired the roundtable on perfecting multichannel customer engagement in the contact center and gave a keynote on how social media is impacting the contact center.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience Management, Customer Feedback Management, NICE Systems, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Genesys, InContact, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, 360-degree view of the Customer, Agent Performance Management, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Interactive Intelligence, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management, Noble Systems, Verint

Datawatch Enables Business Analytics through Data Discovery and Virtualization

Posted by Mark Smith on May 1, 2012 12:50:36 AM

Thanks to Datawatch, businesses may find themselves buying and deploying fewer new business analytics and business intelligence tools. As I noted in my analysis last year, the company’s new management has begun to transition it to a more appealing market position in which it helps enterprises use analytics to improve operational efficiency and decision-making. The Datawatch products focus on data virtualization – that is, accessing data from multiple sources not usually seen as accessible for analysis, such as reports and documents in Adobe Acrobat format, production systems, streams coming from cloud computing or print output, or even legacy systems. The value of this lies in reducing the time it takes to access such data and integrate it with other data to create enriched information and analytics.

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Topics: Supply Chain Performance, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Business Technology, Chief Information Officer, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Datawatch